PBA Governors' Cup

Converge stays perfect, holds off Magnolia to move up 3-0

Delfin Dioquino

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Converge stays perfect, holds off Magnolia to move up 3-0

CONTRIBUTOR. Alec Stockton plays a key role as Converge remains unbeaten.

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Converge seizes solo top spot in the PBA standings after giving debuting Magnolia a rude welcome in the Governors' Cup

RIZAL, Philippines – Converge extended its unbeaten run in the PBA Governors’ Cup after surviving a fierce fourth-quarter fightback from Magnolia, 111-109, at the Ynares Center on Sunday, January 29.

Jamaal Franklin finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 blocks in an all-around performance and hit a clutch triple that allowed the FiberXers to escape with their third straight win to start the conference.

Down 95-106 with four minutes left, the debuting Hotshots rode on a 9-0 run highlighted by a personal six-point swing from import Eric McCree to shave their deficit to a single possession.

McCree completed a four-point play after a flagrant foul (landing spot) from Converge guard Alec Stockton and flushed home a dunk in the bonus possession to pull Magnolia within 104-106.

But Franklin answered the call for the FiberXers a couple of plays later, draining a well-defended three-pointer over the outstretched hands of Rome dela Rosa to give his side a 111-105 advantage with a minute remaining.

Although McCree scored 4 straight points to make it 109-111 and Franklin coughed up a turnover, the Hotshots’ comeback bid still fell short.

With 10 seconds left and Magnolia needing just a two-pointer to equalize, McCree lengthily dribbled the ball and missed a contested trey as time expired.

Maverick Ahanmisi led all Converge locals in scoring with 22 points and 5 rebounds off the bench, while Stockton produced 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists, serving as one of the catalysts in their third-quarter breakaway.

Stockton scored a team-high 7 points in the third period as the FiberXers entered the final frame leading by double digits, 84-73.

Aljun Melecio and Jeron Teng added 14 and 11 points, respectively, for Converge, which ranks second in the league in scoring with an average of 121 points, just behind NLEX (122.5 points).

McCree churned out game-highs of 38 points and 16 rebounds in the loss that saw the Hotshots trail by as many as 14 points, 85-99, in the fourth quarter.

Paul Lee added 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists for Magnolia.

The Scores

Converge 111– Franklin 26, Ahanmisi 22, Stockton 18, Melecio 14, Teng 11, Arana 8, Balanza 6, Tratter 4, Ambohot 2, Racal 0, Murrell 0.

Magnolia 109 – Mccree 38, Lee 21, Jalalon 13, Abueva 12, Escoto 7, Ahanmisi 5, Wong 4, Dela Rosa 3, Sangalang 2, Barroca 2, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 0.

Quarters: 28-23, 50-47, 84-73, 111-109.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.